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A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology

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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2004 December;163(6):243-7

language: English

Chronobiology of meningitis

Bilora F. 1, Boccioletti V. 1, Rinaldi R. 2, Petrobelli F. 1, Pomerri F. 3

1 Department of Medicine II, University of Padua, Padua, Italy;
2 Division of Infectious and Tropical Diseases General Hospital of Padua, Italy;
3 Unit of Radiology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy


Aim. Our study intended to verify the seasonality of aseptic meningitis.
Methods. We studied 156 patients hospitalized at the Infectious Department of Padua University between 1990 and 1997. Fifty-nine of them (M=40, F=19), mean age 18.9±7.3, were affected by aseptic meningitis (1 patient was affected by herpes virus meningitis, 31 subjects by mumps virus meningitis and 27 from enterovirus meningitis). The diagnosis was made by studying the patients’ clinical history, via physical examination and serological tests. All the patients were submitted to liquor examination and evaluation of its characteristics also for viral and bacterial antigens. For all the patients cultural tests of feces, urine and throat samples were carried out.
Results. The evaluation of seasonality of aseptic meningitis in the cases showed a peak in July. The analysis for gender, showed greater incidence for females in September and for males in June-July. The cases were also subdivided according to the etiology of the meningitis and the result was a peak in July for mumps meningitis and a peak in September for enterovirus meningitis.
Conclusion. In the light of these results we can conclude that aseptic meningitis has greater incidence in summertime. This observation is consistent with the fact that infectious diseases undergo fluctuation depending on the immune activity which is depressed by the exposition to sun rays and UVA. The different seasonality of aseptic meningitis as regards gender is attributable to the different etiology of meningitis in the 2 genders.

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